Viral: An Iraqi Actress Sues The Economist For 'Fat Women Article'

Published August 12th, 2022 - 05:07 GMT
Enas Taleb at the Babylon Festival
Photo of Iraqi actress Enas Taleb, used by The Economist, taken by Anadolu Agency photojournalist Karar Essa on Oct. 28, 2021 at the Babylon International Festival in Iraq

ALBAWABA - An Iraqi actress is suing the Economist magazine for using her photo on a story about fat women in the Arab world.

Enas Taleb, 42, said the photo, taken by Anadolu Agency at the Babylon International Festival in Iraq on Oct. 28, 2021, was used by The Economist without her consent and out of context, and thus violated her privacy according to the Turkish news agency

The story is trending on the social media with many international news outlets talking about the legal action that is being taken by the Iraqi actress. This includes the Daily Mail which has carried a full length feature on the legal action.

The London daily wrote the Iraqi actress and talk show host wants to sue The Economist for using her photo to illustrate a story about how women are fatter than men in the Arab world, adding Taleb, a well-known television personality in her country, was outraged to see a photo of herself during a performance at Iraq's annual cultural Babylon Festival nine months ago beneath the headline about fat women.

She also accused the newspaper of editing the image, noting that she had already launched legal action against it in the UK over the article, published late last month with the title "Why Women Are Fatter Than Men in the Arab World," Anadolu reported.


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Netizens have also been commenting more like gloating with one works comments like "good" and "thank you!

The article in the Economist seeks to explain why, on average, Arab women gain more weight than Arab men, pointing to poverty, societal limitations, customs, and traditions that keep them at home more than their male counterparts. 


Taleb called the article an 'insult to all Arab women' in general and Iraqi women in particular as reported in the Daily Mail.  'Audiences have loved me for many years. It was disappointing to see an international outlet label me as if all my accomplishments mean nothing,' she said. 

'I am healthy and happy with the way I look, and to me that is all that matters.'  The article by the august British journal drew criticism from across the Arab world, with some decrying its 'contemptuous tone' and others questioning its poor analysis of Arab society. Others accused it of being 'racist', 'sexist' and 'shaming' towards Arab women, the Daily Mail continues.


Another take from Anadolu:  She also questioned the Economist's interest in "fat" Arab women over those in the US or Europe with similar bodies. Speaking to several media outlets from different countries, she underlined frequently that she received many "bullying comments" on social media, while also emphasizing that she is healthy and happy with the way she looks. "To me, that is all that matters," she said.

Taleb is among Iraq's most famous actresses and is also popular on social media. She has nine million subscribers on Instagram.

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